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Try the Mediterranean Diet for Better Health

By Paul Rothbart

When choosing meals, it can be fun to be adventurous. Trying the cuisine of other cultures and nations is exciting and you may find something you've never had that you end up loving. Discoveries are usually made in a good restaurant and then you may go on to learn to cook some of your favorite dishes at home. One type of cuisine that has been gaining in popularity recently is Mediterranean. The food of the coastal nations in Europe and North Africa is loaded with tasty vegetables, grains, and spices. It's exotic, delicious, and very nutritious. Here are some of the health benefits of Mediterranean cuisine.

Good Blood Sugar Levels

The ingredients of the Mediterranean diet are nutrition-dense. Eating these healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains can help stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. There is a significant body of research that has found that Mediterranean cuisine can lower insulin resistance, a major contributor to diabetes. It also raises levels of hemoglobin A1C, which helps maintain steady blood sugar.

Heart Health

There have been many studies that examined the effect of the Mediterranean diet on heart health. It has been linked to a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. In fact, research shows that a Mediterranean diet is more effective than a low-fat diet at reducing cholesterol and the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Other studies indicate that it can help reduce blood pressure, another factor important to heart health. 

Brain Function

Older adults face the risk of cognitive decline and its associated illnesses. Mediterranean food may protect against reduced brain function and help prevent these illnesses. A study involving 512 subjects found that those who stayed with a Mediterranean diet showed a reduction in the factors that can lead to Alzheimer's as well as improved memory. There is also research that has linked Mediterranean cuisine with improved cognitive function, processing speed, and memory in older adults. Members of this age group also showed a reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer's.

Weight Loss

Sticking to a Mediterranean diet can also be helpful to people who are trying to lose weight. The staples of this cuisine are filling and high in nutrition but low in calories. They can help you feel full, making between-meal snacks less likely. You may find yourself eating satisfying meals with a lower daily caloric intake. This can be a great boost to losing weight and keeping it off.

It's usually fun to try new things and that also applies to food. Mediterranean cuisine is popular because it's light and delicious. That's reason enough to try it. With all of its health benefits, giving it a whirl is almost a must.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Wake Forest, N.C.

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